Taking your PLO game to the next level

Hey folks. I've been playing PLO for close to ten years and have been coaching students in the game for about half that time. As complex and nuanced as the game of Pot Limit Omaha is, I have noticed that there are some leaks and pitfalls that are common amongst almost all beginner and intermediate players that are trying to improve. I'd like to discuss what some of these are and how you can avoid falling victim to them.

Playing too many tables too soon. This one has almost a 100% strike rate. Almost every single person I have come across that is trying to get better at PLO is doing so while playing too many tables (I myself have fallen into this category). Omaha is such an intricate and complex game that it is an enormous hindrance to your learning experience to play too many tables at once. You will miss important information constantly and your mind won't be able to think through hands with enough depth. I recommend one or two zoom tables maximum and no more than four regular tables. 


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This, for instance, would be too many tables...

Not fighting for the small pots, or, seeing monsters under the bed. When it comes to Omaha, a lot of new players tend to be afraid to bluff or stab at pots when they don't have much of a hand. It's a common misconception that it's easy to make a big hand in PLO so you shouldn't bluff. Very often there will be a limped pot or single raised pot that goes check-check-check-check-check-check-check-check-check and if anyone had put a bet out the pot would've been theirs, but nobody wants to so it goes to whomever is lucky enough to make 2nd pair or bottom two by the river. I'm not saying you need to try and win every pot - but if it looks like nobody else is interested, then take a stab. You'll be surprised at how often you can pick up these small pots and how quickly they add up.

Too much playing, not enough studying. This one ties into my first point a little bit but all too often I talk to a student who is playing tens of thousands of hands a week and spending MAYBE one hour a week away from the tables working on their game. All this does for them is gives them practice playing their current game and doesn't help them take their game to the next level. There is so much work you can do to improve and almost nobody does enough of it. Including but not limited to: reviewing your hands after a session, using powerful software or tools to analyse your statistics or particular hands, discussing theory with friends or on a forum, studying how your opponents play and figuring out how best to exploit them, and thinking about the weakest parts of your own game and how you might improve upon those areas. You could watch poker videos or twitch streams or read a book. An hour invested into any of these areas will pay dividends the next time you sit at the table, so don't neglect working on your game. 

Hopefully you're able to take something away from the above three points - I am confident that most people reading this will relate to at least one of them given how prominently I have seen them throughout the years. Put in just a little extra work and thought on your game and you'd be amazed at the things you can accomplish. Good luck


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Roy "GodLikeRoy" Bhasin is a member of Team PokerStars Pro Online

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